A Zooming Start to the School Year: Tips for How to Navigate Online Learning

Gabby Stuart, Staff Writer

Last year was filled with face-to-face interactions, rushing to class during passing periods, and all school lunch, now students wake up ten minutes before class, show up in pajamas, and stare at a screen the entire day. Online learning can feel overwhelming.

There are so many new complexities that come with online learning, that students and teachers are trying to navigate. With that said, here are a few tips and tricks for incoming freshmen and all prep students to help online learning run smoothly.

First, let’s talk about zoom calls and breakout rooms. When joining a zoom call it is always better to arrive early rather that late. Junior Daniela Castillo-Cayon says to “join the zoom call more than two minutes early.”

Zoom meetings can often take a second or two to load and by joining early you ensure time for loading, wifi issues, and any other conflicts that could arise. As Mr. Hendricks says “if you’re on time you’re late.”

Once the class has started, and the teacher begins putting everyone into breakout rooms here are some things to keep in mind: “Don’t be scared to be the first one to talk… it is probable that the other people will thank you for it” said Castillo-Cayon.

Don’t be afraid to share ideas and participate. Breakout rooms are often an invitation for awkward silence. By being the first person to share ideas or simply break the barrier with a “hello,” it creates an open environment and awkward silence will turn into a lively discussion.

Second, after staring at a screen all day, it is easy to put aside homework and not do it. One of the best means of relaxation after a screen filled day is taking a one to two-hour break in between school and homework. One can go for a walk, watch a show, practice a hobby or do something to get their mind off school and online learning. After this break, it is important to do the homework that was assigned that day instead of procrastinating. Junior Sophia Lovejoy suggested that freshmen “get work done the day it’s assigned not due.”

This advice is especially important during online learning because it is easy to stay up late doing homework or wake up right before class to do it. Prep students need sleep and by getting homework done when it is assigned, they will be less stressed out.

Finally, students must do what is best for them on synchronous days. For example, some decide to get out of there pajamas. This simulates a more realistic school setting and can help put students in the right mindset for online learning. Other students have glasses of water next to them just in case they are parched between classes or focus. Some even focus on good posture to show engagement, which also helps reduce fatigue. In the end the best way to endure online school is through comfortability, breaks, and doing ones best to engage on zoom calls.